“I love Twitter. Why? Because Twitter turns all of your followers into assignment editors!” said Chris Schauble, co-anchor of the KTLA 5 Morning News, and one of three veteran L.A.-based journalists who shared a plethora of interesting insights about social media’s far-reaching impact on news coverage during the recent joint Social Media Club Los Angeles (SMCLA) / Public Relations Society of America – Los Angeles panel discussion, part of Social Media Week Los Angeles.


Moderated by PRSA-LA president and SMCLA member Erik Deutsch, and sponsored by PR Newswire, “From Headlines to Hashtags:  How Social Media Is Transforming News Coverage” also featured Michael Slate, producer and host at KPFK-FM producer, and Stacey Leasca, social media editor at the Los Angeles Times. The well-attended event was held on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at The Broad Stage on the campus of Santa Monica City College, the official host venue for all Social Media Week L.A happenings.

While all three journalists offered a wealth of interesting perspectives on the topic, the always-popular, affable Schauble got the biggest laughs of the afternoon from the audience of social media managers, PR practitioners, and digital marketers during his opening remarks. The seasoned TV news anchor humorously introduced himself as “Chris ‘Earthquake Face’ Schauble,” referencing the widely-circulated photo, and now his Twitter profile image, of Schauble expressing great surprise when a large earthquake rocked the KTLA Morning New studio while he was on the air live.

Slate, an early adopter and ardent user of social media platforms, primarily utilizes the medium to interact and converse with his loyal listeners, and source potential guests and discussion topics. “Stories that may otherwise be missed can be found [via social media], and then investigated and told by journalists,” he added. However, he pointed out, it does have its limitations. “I like Twitter very much, but it poses some clarity issues. It’s difficult to tell a story in 140 characters.”

As the Los Angeles Times’ social media editor, Leasca brought a unique point of view to the panel as the individual responsible for the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper’s social media presence. According to Leasca, the publication’s social media strategy is to act like a person with whom people want to interact and engage. In another interest disclosure, she revealed the Los Angeles Times has more than 50 Twitter accounts, all of which Leasca manages, to deliver highly-targeted news to specific readers. ByPY-baIMAARb2T

For a more detailed recap of “From Headlines to Hashtags:  How Social Media Is Transforming News Coverage,” please check out the Storify summary here.

Keep following SMCLA on Facebook and Twitter for information and tickets to our October event, which will address social media strategies in the fashion business.